Newly-crowned champion owner Carlton Watson highlighted yesterday's 11-race programme at Caymanas Park with four winners, including ROYAL VIBES, in the 43rd running of the City of Kingston Centenary Cup (high claiming) over a mile.
Watson, who has seen his familiar burgundy and white silks carried to victory on eight of the past nine racedays, had a natural hat-trick among his tally with 3-5 favourite ROYAL VIBES winning the third race, 4-5 favourite JOVOUN THE MASTER capturing the fourth and MR. LUVAL landing the fifth over a mile as the even-money favourite.
His fourth winner, SPIC N SPAN (4-1), came in the ninth race over 1400 metres for $180,00 claimers with five-time champion Trevor Simpson riding for trainer Lawrence Freemantle. Both ROYAL VIBES and MR. LUVAL were ridden by 2011 champion, Dick Cardenas, who completed a triple aboard 6-5 favourite ITALIANO in the 10th race over 1200 metres. All three are trained by champion Wayne DaCosta who, as is customary, has gone into an early lead in the championship in his bid to equal Philip Feanny's all-time record of 14 titles.
Facile win for royal vibes
ROYAL VIBES led home his five opponents by 4 1/2 lengths in City of Kingston Centenary, coming from just off the early pace to sweep past long-time leader HOMBRE leaving the quarter pole for a facile win.
The City of Kingston Centenary Cup was presented to Watson by Kingston's Mayor, Angela Brown Burke, who was visiting Caymanas for the first time.
Watson, who is the CEO of Cal's Manufacturing Limited, was pleased with the performance of his horses:"I enjoy winning trophy races, and this was my second for the new season following Cause For Concern in the McKay Security Trophy race on New Year's Day.
"With this four-timer, I have assumed a good early lead in the owners' standings with six wins, and consistency is what it will take to win another title this year," said Watson, who also had four winners on Boxing Day to seal the 2013 championship.
Continuing, Watson says he owns just over 20 horses spread over three stables - DaCosta, Freemantle and Patrick Chang.
He's also upbeat about the prospects of his two-year-olds (six of them) to maintain his hold on the title.